By Peter Duru
Makurdi – The Federal Government has deployed combined team of more security personnel to Benue state to contain militant herdsmen attacks on communities across the stated.
Cross Section of Policemen during the flag off of Operation Harmony in Kafanchan , Kaduna State. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
Governor Samuel Ortom made this known Thursday on the floor of the Benue State House of Assembly where he was summoned my members to brief the House on efforts being put in place to end killings in the state.
The Governor said, “the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai is already in the state touring flashpoints in parts of the state including Logo, Guma and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas with a view to flushing out the marauders.
“Already additional joint forces coordinated by the Defense Headquarters are in the state to address the security challenges.”
Governor Ortom noted that the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of the State came into being because the people asked for a law to prohibit open grazing of livestock to stop the killings of innocent farmers of the state by herdsmen.
“In fact the Benue Peoples House and the State Assembly were occupied severally by protesters to have the ranching legislation passed and after the passage and my assenting to it, threats emanated from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to resist the law.
“The reports of the threats were presented to the Presidency and security agencies but no action was taken until the attacks started fully on the January 1st, 2018.”
While assuring the Assembly of his continued efforts to ensure security for lives and property, the Governor stated that with the present steps taken by the Federal Government, peace would soon return to the state.
Commenting on the recent arrest of the leader of the Benue Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, Governor Ortom said he had allowed security agencies to do their investigation and come out with their findings.
He stated however that he inherited Alhaji Tershaku as leader of the defunct Civilian Joint Taskforce for Benue and Nasarawa States, saying when Livestock Guards was formed, he decided to make him the leader on account of his experience in security matters.
Governor Ortom enjoined the members to talk to their constituents on the need to coexist peacefully, saying it was uncalled for to have internal wranglings when the state was facing external aggression.